Tucker Carlson in front of Moscow Kremlin and St Basil's Cathedral and x's

Aleksandr Dyskin/Shutterstock Viacheslav Lopatin/Shutterstock (Licensed)

Tucker Carlson allies claim false Russia TV show story planted to justify U.S. surveillance

A Russian channel created a show from videos of his on X.


Tricia Crimmins


This morning, Newsweek reported that former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson partnered with Russia on a state-run news program.

But the outlet’s reporting was swiftly debunked by Tucker Carlson Network CEO Neil Patel, who said Carlson didn’t team up with Russia

Newsweek’s reporting is now being widely panned by Carlson allies, and the article has been updated with accurate information. It’s also being used to foster claims of U.S. government surveillance of Carlson, which he’s helped stoke.

The outlet’s initial reporting claimed that Carlson had launched a program “on Russian state TV” according to statements made by “Russian state media.” However, as Patel stated, Carlson did not launch a program on Russian state TV—a Russian channel broadcasts a show called Tucker, which is just clips of Carlson’s shows that were previously posted on X.

Carlson’s actual show, broadcast on X, is also called Tucker.

“The Tucker Carlson Network has not done any deals with state media in any country,” Patel tweeted approximately two hours after the Newsweek article was posted. “Whoever is currently pretending to be the old Newsweek brand would know that if they had checked with us before printing like news companies are supposed to do.”

And Patel isn’t the only one who took jabs at Newsweek’s reporting. Charlie Kirk and others on X joined in, too. Kirk founded Turning Point USA, a conservative political organization with chapters at high schools and universities.

“No, Tucker Carlson did not launch a show on Russian TV. This is flagrantly dishonest reporting,” Kirk tweeted. “Russian media is just ripping his content from X and dubbing it. It’s called content piracy. Newsweek should issue an immediate correction and apology.”

And in a statement to RealClearPolitics, Carlson called Newsweek‘s initial reporting “total bullshit in every way.”

“Newsweek is very obviously trying to give the Biden administration a pretext to read my personal communications under FISA,” Carlson said. “It’s pretty dark.”

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, regulates how the government collects information on U.S. individuals suspected of having ties to foreign intelligence operations and came under fire during the Russian investigation into former President Donald Trump.

Carlson has claimed that he is being spied on by the government before: In 2021, he said on his Fox News show that he was being monitored by the National Security Agency for “political reasons,” which the NSA swiftly denied. Carlson also claimed, while he was in Russia, that the U.S. government monitored his communications and leaked a meeting he had with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Carlson’s fans have also highlighted the false Newsweek report, furthering his claim by saying it could have been planted to use as a pretext to justify surveillance of Carlson.

Carlson’s ties to Russia, though, have been a source of speculation lately. In January, he was the first Western journalist to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in 2022.

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